Typical of Iceland’s intriguing designs of religious structures, the Akureyri Church has a fascinating façade with two huge columns. The Lutheran church is the icon of the city, standing proudly on a mossy hill above the rest of the city center. See the entire structure glowing in golden light in the evening.
A large set of stairs joins the church portal to street level at the base of the hill. From the steps, gaze up at the modern-looking structure, which was designed by architect Guðjón Samúelsson and completed in 1940. Note how the church takes on a holy appearance when the sun is positioned just behind its towers. The façade includes a large clock and three crucifixes. Enter the church to see its adornments, such as an angel statue.
Marvel at the large organ with 3,300 pipes. Look up at the ship that hangs from the ceiling as a reminder of Iceland’s Nordic roots. It is part of a tradition of praying to protect loved ones at sea. Attend a service and take your place on a wooden pew.
The church has an excellent array of artwork lining its walls. Gaze up at the stunning stained-glass window above the altar that many believe was once part of a set partially destroyed in an air raid of Coventry Cathedral in England. Admire the reliefs designed by sculptor Ásmundur Sveinsson on the balcony that overlooks the nave. These works tell the story of Christ in an unconventional fashion.
Visit the church most days between morning and afternoon. Enjoy the fantastic view of the rest of the city from the top of the hill. Capture photos of the river and your other favorite attractions.
Akureyri Church is a few blocks west of the Eyjafjordur fjord in the southern section of the city center. Nearby attractions include the Akureyri Art Museum and the swimming pool complex of Sundlaug Akureyrar.